Christian Education National teachers:
- Fully grasp their critical role under God and the board, and as active partners with parents, in translating the vision for Christian education set out in the foundational documents of the school (constitution) into all curriculum and classroom practice.
- Challenge students with the celebration of the lordship of Christ over all creation.
- Understand and wrestle with the power and implications of underlying worldviews in education.
- Are called to invest in life long learning which is biblically grounded, culturally engaging and academically rigorous in its philosophy and practice.
- Are committed to advancing their Christian educational research and scholarship.
- Engage with world class training through the National Institute for Christian Education.
- Take full advantage of the vision, community and partnerships of Christian Education National.
Christian Education National is a network of formal and informal, accredited and non-accredited professional learning communities for the span of a whole teaching career to nurture research and depth of scholarship within a rigorously examined integrated Christian faith and worldview context.
Christian Education National maintains an accredited teacher training arm, the National Institute for Christian Education through which teachers may deepen and enhance their scholarship and vision for Christian education. From this relationship, other professional alliances are fostered to provide scholarship, support, networks and a rich sense of collegiality for teachers.
As part of the local and wider Christian Education National community teachers are supported in advancing their careers by being provided with enriching opportunities and multiple pathways to training in Christian educational thought and practice. These include:
- National-wide opportunities to invest in young lives for eternity through a network of over 2000 teachers in 85 schools
- The National Institute for Christian Education (NICE):
- Provides accredited program for Christian teacher education through distance education (Conversion post graduate training leading to a Bachelor of Education or a Master of Education degree)
- Delivers intensive, face-to-face sessions (non-accredited programs)
- Facilitates school and curriculum development
- Articulates and nurtures a biblical worldview
- Assists teachers to operate in professional learning communities
- Equips teachers to grasp their faith and engage the culture in every vocation and academic study, thus becoming salt and light witnesses to Christ’s kingdom in a lost and needy world and supporting Christian families in the nurture of their children in the Lord
- Trains teachers to rigorously examine their worldviews in light of Scripture and to think Christianly about education.
- Engages teachers in contemporary educational thinking and research.
- Christian Teachers’ Professional Association
- Professional journal: Christian Teachers Journal
- Christian education library
- Web-based resources
- Employment support:
- Job placement
- Job search
- Industrial relations service (NSW)
- Professional development
- Curriculum development
- Networking: professional learning communities, faith development and social activities
- Professional Liability insurance
- Superannuation fund committed to ethical investment: Christian Super
- Web-based forums
- Web-based prayer network
- Opportunity to exercise leadership within the teaching environment in Christian schools
- Capacity to help shape the educational philosophy and practice within the Christian Education National community and beyond.
Telling the stories
Studying with NICE: Student responses
This was one of the best classes I have taken as a Christian Educator. It changed and challenged my ideas and philosophies of Christian Education. It also opened my eyes to the impact my worldview has on my teaching. This class has made a difference in my approach to teaching. I would recommend the course to anyone who is serious about teaching at a Christian School. The time sacrifice was well worth it.
I enjoyed this subject and would recommend others do to it because of the potential it offers for self examination and critically viewing of educational practice. It helps teachers to ask themselves if they are really being as faithful as they could be in their teaching. It gives you an excellent start to implement the Bible in all your teaching, especially to students who have been trained in a secular institution and go into Christian education.
I found it helpful and instructive. I would definitely recommend it to co-ordinators and above who have had little exposure to Christian schooling.
This has been the most useful and relevant course I’ve undertaken. I wish I’d done it years ago. No one should teach in a Christian School without doing it.
This subject really helped me to clarify my thinking about Christian Education (even more than when we decided to send our children to a Christian school). The Bible study itself is extremely helpful and doing the mental exercise to really apply it to educational practice has added much value and meaning.
Great! This course opened my eyes to why good intentions in schools often fail. I would recommend it!. It is also applicable to everything outside of school.
I found the ongoing dialogue with other colleagues through a focused purpose very valuable and personally enlarging. It has been very helpful in working with assistant teachers doing their practicum at our college as well.
Margaret and Christine: First year professional development induction program
The induction program has been in place at our Christian school for many years and has evolved over time. The program was never just for first year out teachers; it was meant to equip all teachers new to our Christian School to teach from a Christian perspective. The school is very aware that there is a real difference in a Christian teacher teaching the curriculum and teaching the curriculum from a Christian perspective. Supporting and mentoring teachers new to teaching and new to the school is seen as absolutely vital. Currently the induction program is delivered in two sections:
Christian Distinctives. This addresses the ‘big picture’ of Christian education and the school and is delivered by the principal and deputy.
Mentor/Support Program. This is aimed at the practicalities of teaching, of being in the classroom. This section is coordinated by senior staff within the junior, middle and senior school.
The board, representing the parent body, and staff, seeks to provide new teachers with the information and support needed to promote and further their development as Christian teachers. This intention is based on the biblical concept of assisting and nurturing our brothers and sisters to encourage a sincere, committed and fruitful service to the Lord through the use of our gifts and talents within a community which seeks to ‘Serve the Lord with gladness’.
Christian teachers bear the responsibility to model Christ to their students and provide an excellent learning environment as they mentor and guide students in the way they should learn and live. They are called upon to exhibit a love of God, subject matter and students. In addition, they need to be mindful of the authority under which they serve, namely the board of the school and seek to practise their craft within the stated, biblically based school ethos, vision, mission, creedal and policy documents distinctive to the school.
At the core of the program is a mentor and modelling structure, mainly provided by senior staff, who seek to pass on their expertise, and assistance to new staff. A Christian teacher as mentor seeks to support, assist, advise, model, guide, supervise and where necessary, instruct. The mentor is an advocate, a listener and a prayer partner, seeking to model Christ to the new teacher within a professional relationship.
Together, in community, we seek to share in practical ways the vision of the school, ‘To see parents and children experience the benefits of a bible based, Christ centred, parent controlled education in order that they might be prepared and equipped for a life of service as disciples of Jesus Christ’. As teachers we are in a privileged position to contribute significantly to the mission of ‘providing Christian education of the highest quality to Christian families for as many as desire it for their children.’
Program 1 - Christian Distinctives
The program is designed to address:
- The ethos of the school, including vision and mission statements and creed.
- The nature of parent control, including the attendance at an education committee meeting and board gathering.
- The bigger picture of the movement to which our school belongs.
- Child protection legislation and teacher responsibilities.
- Creed and curriculum perspectives.
The program seeks to ensure that all new teachers, K-12:
- Are aware of the core beliefs of the school in both theory and practice.
- Are shown how to begin to integrate these core beliefs into their work, both in terms of relationships and in the development and delivery of teaching material (primarily through the creed and curriculum document).
- Reflect on their initial experiences at Tyndale (assignment 1) and later apply their knowledge as a result of FYAT (acronym for the First Year at Tyndale induction program) and personal school experiences directly to their work (assignment 2).
Although not a stated aim, another benefit of the program is the provision of a forum where new teachers can develop in relationship with the school executive team.
Program 2 - Mentor Support Program K-12
Structure and implementation:
- The program begins in January curriculum week to ensure that FYATS are assisted before the beginning of term 1.
- Each FYAT is assigned a mentor, usually a KLA (Key Learning Area) coordinator in the senior school and a coordinator in junior and middle school.
- The FYAT and mentor make a regular time together to meet to go through each of the topics, using the information in the FYAT folder as a starting point.
- The FYAT and mentor also arrange suitable times for classroom visitations, when the mentor can visit the classroom and arrange for them to visit other classrooms.
It is imperative that the leadership team, while implementing the expectations of educational authorities, maintain our Christian distinctiveness, delivering new requirements under the umbrella of our existing programs in Christian schools which have solid biblical frameworks.
This program is one way to ensure that future leadership in our school has a solidly based understanding of Christian education and that we deliver the biblically based education promoted .in our mission statement.